Amid Hun Sen’s growing tensions with the West, Cambodia’s already warm relations with China has reached new heights. After a recent three-day visit to Beijing, Hun Sen announced that China has pledged almost US$600 million in aid to Cambodia.
2018 proved to be a tumultuous year for the region. Some ASEAN countries faced major challenges. For example, Indonesia was struck by disasters multiple times from earthquakes to a tragic plane crash to a devastating tsunami.
In many dimensions, today’s West is not at its best. Many people are challenging the values of liberal democracy (individual rights and majority rule) and even those of the Enlightenment (reason, science, and truth).
Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia to have never been colonised. It is perhaps a testament to the strength and resilience of the country in doing away with any foreign interference on its shores.
China’s foreign policy exerts a certain weight in the international community, and many have, in fact, likened the country to a superpower within the Asia region.
The economic outlook for 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states and other major East Asian economies including China, India, Japan and South Korea, remains optimistic following a strong start in 2017.